1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Discussion areas for the individual classes are unlocked for all users. Let's see if this makes it any more useful. If not, we'll drop this or organize under a single banner to save space and lean things out.
    Dismiss Notice

Live Symphonic Brass - NOW AVAILABLE!

Discussion in 'Classes & Discussion' started by Mike Verta, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. @Jonathan Worsley Maybe that could be an Up Your Brass part 2 kind of thing ;)

    Here's a piece for trumpet ensemble that uses mutes effectively -

    When I have more time, probably later this week, I'll write up a post about mutes from a brass player's perspective
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  2. The class could've been 12 hours, with all the things there are to demonstrate and the whole world of mutes and fx are some of them. I had also written solo pieces to demonstrate other things. We ended for two reasons: 1) union contract, and 2) they were completely done. When brass players are fluttering their lips between every single take, it's break time. When it's been three hours of challenging material, it's over.
  3. Hi Jonathan, if you're keen to get some more knowledge on the individual instruments there's a handful of videos done by Cinesamples. They interview the musicians, get some insight on what the instrument can/can't do, ranges etc.

    Another option, albeit expensive, is Samuel Adler's 'The Study of Orchestration.' Aside from orchestration itself, there's a lot of depth on the instruments themselves. If you pick it up, make sure you get a version with the audio so you can hear all the different articulations.
  4. There are tons of videos showing these specific techniques. For example, check this page for interviews with LA musicians, including two of the guys who were at that session:

    ("Composer's Workshop" Trumpet, Horn, Tuba)

    There are very few videos showing ensembles. I'm glad he used that time to show another style instead.
  5. Also, I think the aim was to learn how pros work as an ensemble in a studio setting. This wasn't supposed to be a 'composer's handbook' where you would learn about all the articulations, ranges etc... I think the class was very valuable as is, and I learned a lot about writing idiomatically and effectively for brass. Surprisingly, Apex is one of the pieces that taught me the most.
  6. Adler's "The Study of Orchestration" is pretty good. Just skip the workbook, there's not a lot of value in it unless you're actually attending class and covering the case studies.

    Another option that I think is similar in quality and has a GREAT workbook is Peter Alexander's "Professional Orchestration". It is a little more expensive if you get it with the audio and workbooks but personally I think it is perfect for the self-taught student and it covers every possible scenario in much more depth. Just to give you an idea, Adler's Orchestration book is 800 or so pages. Alexander's is 800 pages each volume, and there's three of them. It's by far the most thorough thing I've seen on the topic. The only problem is they seem to be re-working the website at the moment and last time I checked you couldn't order anything.

    Finally, another possible option for those daring is "Traite de l'orchestration" (which translates to "Treatise of orchestration") by Charles Koechlin. I think when Mike refers to the French school of orchestration, he's probably talking about the approach mentioned in this book. It is what Lalo Schiffrin used to teach his classes. The only problem with this one is that it is a complete pain in the ass to read because it is in French, there's no translation available that I know of, and it's also four huge volumes. The library of my college had the originals and also a bootleg Spanish translation of it which was immensely valuable, but getting the book and having it translated the legal way was just ridiculous money so I ended up purchasing Alexander's book instead.
    Raphael Badawi likes this.
  7. Thanks for the responses and valuable information! I don't want to give the impression that the class wasn't useful, it was especially interesting for me seeing how professional musicians interact with each other in the studio.
    The reason for my comment, however, is that Mike's masterclasses always "tell it how it is". In other videos and orchestration textbooks the players are always happy to demonstrate the techniques, but how do they truly feel about a composer who slathers their pieces (for example) in stopped horns? What effect would that have on the recording session, and on the composer-performer relationship? I'm sure many others here would pay to see that as an addendum, without the video having to devolve into "here are the ranges of each instrument" :)

    Edit: I also appreciate union rules and the stamina of brass players; I'm attempting to learn the trumpet and trombone myself :)
    Noam Levy likes this.
  8. Stopped horn isn't hard for them. If there are extended passages of it they will use a conical stop mute instead of their hand. Make sure to specify "metal mute" or "fiber mute" (cardboard) as they have different sounds. I believe they default to the metal mute.

    Well demonstrated in this interview with Mr. Hart - 16:00-19:00

    Jonathan Worsley likes this.
  9. This is perfect, thank you Noam! Exactly what I was looking for.
  10. One of the very first things I told the players is that the class wasn't another "young person's guide"; that there were a million places out there to learn ranges, mutes, etc. But there are absolutely zero "working with ensembles" classes out there that begin by addressing our responsibility to manage the personalities of players, and set the stage for them to give the best performance, and talk about how to do that, specifically, and why. There are none that "tell it how it is" in terms of thinking about the player first, and using that position of respect to guide - literally - the internal voice motion in composition and make choices in orchestration. There just aren't any.

    Well, there's one...
  11. Lovely piece! Thanks for posting this.

    And Mike, I'm glad we skipped out on basic techniques. There is a ton of info available for that, and it would have been wasted time IMO. The only technique-based thing I was very mildly interested in is effect-based stuff like stabs and the like and player advice in regard to that kind of thing, but that's rather niche.
  12. Posted by Z on the other forum, “one big difference is that different [horn] players use different mouthpieces. L.A. uses bigger ones, which is good for warm sounds and very tough on the players to make a ‘blatty’ Sound, while London uses much tighter emboshures which give a brighter and punchier sound.”

    Pirates is recorded in LA but I’m sure samples are mixed loud. Alan Meyerson said he always wants to hear his samples in the mix.
  13. But a lot about the HZ samples thing is about keeping a given space usable. HZ wants the samples to be heard because they come with a room, and he wants this room to be heard.

    P. S. : Totally agree with the Peter Lawrence's Professional Orchestration recommendation. I'm in the middle of the 2A volume. Amazing ressource, very practical. I prefer it over the Adler. I don't know the Koechlin's book, though I'm french and we have all volumes of it in the music library I work in. I've added it to my to-study list.
  14. Hi guys, unfortunately I wasn't able to watch the show live as planned due to streaming issues (problems with the internet my end). I've not seen any updates about the show being available for download yet. Is this still being finalised or have I missed something?
  15. Updates have been sent to anybody who was part of the indiegogo campaign, and there has been stuff said here and on VI-C, but the long short of it is that we're just a few days away. The first of two 19-hour renders is in progress now.

  16. Thanks Mike!
    I didn't receive the updates for some reason, but great! Am looking forward to it.
  17. Holy shit. You added some CGI?

    On a serious note, I use Premiere and After Effects from time to time and while some 3d stuff can take hours to render, video editing doesn't take too long. I don't even have a monster machine and couldn't really ever do VFX work without upgrading. Knowing what kind of hardware you're packing, I wonder what did you do for it to take so long. My CPU would probably be printing that for 19 days.
  18. The raw files alone, at 23.976fps x 3 hrs = 259,200 frames. At 1 second read/write time per frame that would take 72 hours to render. Fortunately, raw read/write is faster, let's say 3-5 frames/sec - between 14-24 hours to render. (But at first it's not 3 hours, it's 9 hours (3 cameras)). All that footage had to be audio sync'd first, and then the edit happens. Since the edit is an offline process, using proxy footage, drive access and read/write is much faster, and that generates an XML which is then brought into Resolve for grading. Grading is more like your 3-5 frame/sec read/write time - Add some temporal and spatial noise reduction and several grading nodes, and the processing time goes up. So the processing time, even with variations, isn't insane, it's just a question of frame count. This is longer than a full-length feature; many terabytes of data. And then there's the big .mp4 encoding render at the end.

    This is all not counting the 15-track Pro Tools session -again 3 full hours -which needed editing, mixing, and then stems prepared as an isolated session and bounced out. And it's not including the narration transcription, which is largely automated but then has to be proofread and cleaned up, etc.

    It's not complex, it's just a lot of material.
    Aaron Venture likes this.
  19. Thanks, interesting stuff. And people think audio is expensive!

Share This Page